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Power Polling Week 5

Let's just throw darts instead

The Red Menace
The Red Menace
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Here we go again. Remember, this is a power poll, so there's a lot of eyeball testing going on here. Resume matters, because those are your actual accomplishments, but there's still some hazy "how good do I think you are" going on here.

We're in full scale "this season is crazy" mode, which is great as a fan, and terrible if you're trying to come up with a logical poll. It just doesn't work, due to so many weird events so far. and it's barely October. It'll get worse from here as schedules get tougher.


1 Alabama. Screw it. They looked like the Platonic ideal of a Nick Saban team, and they can explain away their Ole Miss loss as a confluence of bad luck and magic. They are still the horror movie villain that every team fears most, and like Jason Voorhees, you need to kill him, kill him again, and then probably kill him even one more time. Even then, you should dig a very deep hole.

2 Texas A&M. The Aggies look like they are the team they want to be right now. That's better than almost anyone else in the conference.

3 LSU. They really might be Leonard Fournette and nothing else, but Leonard Fournette might be good enough to win the SEC single-handedly.

4 Florida. Won two games they probably shouldn't have, and then mixed things up by absolutely blowing the doors off a team many considered the SEC front runner. It's time to consider that the Gators might be for real.

5 Georgia. They could make excuses, but no one really wants to hear it. This was their moment to take center stage as the SEC's top contender, and they blew it.

6 Ole Miss. Well, they still haven't lost a game due to the fact they can't run the football. Who would've thought it would be the pass defense that collapsed?

7 Kentucky. One of the few teams in the conference outperforming their projections. That's something.

8 Mississippi St. The Bulldogs seem a victim of scheduling more than anything, but they are clearly not a contender this season. Though they look like a solid team despite the early losses.

9 Arkansas. The last two weeks were the Hogs team we expected to see this season. Could be pulling out of the early season tailspin.

10 Mizzou. I have no faith in this team, but they are 4-1. I don't think they are a contender.

11 Tennessee. Playing much better than their record, but there comes a point at which you don't get a gold star for trying. The Vols need wins, and they've been in short supply.

12 Auburn. Had an easy win over San Jose St, and now a bye week. That's essentially three weeks to prepare for the Kentucky game, which could salvage Auburn's season.

13 Vanderbilt. At least they didn't lose to MTSU.

14 South Carolina. They stink. It's going to get worse.


1 Clemson. It seems popular to say that Clemsoning is now dead. Yeah, that's what they want you to think, only to make the eventual Clemsoning that much more painful.

2 Notre Dame. Showed heart by rallying back, but this team has lost too much due to injuries.

3 Florida St. They haven't looked that good, but they haven't needed to be. These tune ups are giving the Noles time to figure themselves out and turn into a better team come November.

4 Duke. Futzed around against BC, which isn't a good look, but this is a solid, complete team.

5 Syracuse. This is more a commentary on how the steep the drop off is in the ACC after the top 4. Maybe you could put Pitt or UNC here, but honestly, Cuse's ACC win is more impressive.

Big Ten

1 Michigan. Sure, they have a loss, but it's to maybe the #1 team in the nation on the road, and they have looked better than anyone else in conference...

2 Northwestern. ...except maybe the Cats. And the Cats have a big win over Stanford as well.

3 Ohio St. Needed a big comeback to beat a terrible Inidiana team. Their big win doesn't look all that good anymore. They haven't played well all year.

4 Michigan St. Still rooting for Sparty, but getting less and less confident in them.

5 Iowa. The Big Ten has a strong middle class this year, but Iowa is the top of that heap so far. It might be time to look at their schedule and realize they only play one team listed ahead of them. They are a legit threat to make the Big Ten title game.

Big 12

1 Baylor. What to do with the Big Integer? The Bears haven't played anybody, but they are starting to put up video game numbers again. Could be awesome again, could be a mirage of scheduling.

2 TCU. Wow. I mean... wow.

3 Oklahoma. I think they broke Tennessee, but I still rate that win pretty highly. The Sooners are battle tested and might ruin that whole end of the year title game the conference tried to set up.

4 Oklahoma St. Just quietly lurking. Sometimes it's good to have no one paying any attention to you. Especially the officiating crew.

5 West Virginia. You mean, it's harder to put up amazing numbers when you play a team that can actually play good football itself? Who knew?


1 Utah. Didn't even play this week and the gap between them and the rest of the conference got bigger.

2 Stanford. Asserted themselves a true contender and essentially eliminated Arizona from the conversation. Huge win.

3 Cal. Still haven't played anybody, but they keep winning, which is more than most teams can say.

4 Oregon. Struggled against Colorado, but eventually put it away. They need to get over that quickly. This is the time to regroup for the final stretch run.

5 UCLA. One game does not undo an entire season, but it sure feels like it. Everything about their loss to Sparky feels like the most surprising result of the season in a season already jam packed with surprising results.


We switch to straight resume voting for my playoff ballot. I don't care what you look like, I care what you've done.

1 Utah. I think the clear #1 right now.

2 Clemson. Owner of one of the best OOC wins in the nation.

3 Florida. It's been ugly, but the resume wins look pretty right now.

4 Oklahoma. No one else in the Big 12 has beaten anyone, and Ohio St looks weaker with each passing week. OU jumps on to my ballot.